New License Fee Planned For Small Power Suppliers

The government plans to set up a new license fee for small power suppliers in rural areas in an effort to control and regulate all energy provi­ders in the country, an official at the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy said Monday.

The plan calls for requiring a license fee for businessmen who buy generators and provide electricity for a limited number of households.

The proposal should be put into effect late this year, Tun Lean, acting director for the ministry’s energy department, said. Currently, licenses are required, but officially cost nothing.

The Council of Ministers agreed Friday that the proposal should be implemented, according to a press release.

Creating the license fee is part of formally establishing the Elect­ricity Authority of Cambodia, which will attempt to regulate power operators in the country, Tun Lean said. The ministry also is preparing a new license fee for mid-sized power providers in provincial towns, he added.

Half the money collected from the licenses will be turned over to the Finance Ministry and the rest will go to the Industry Ministry.

Under the plan, small power producers would be targeted, particularly those with the capacity to generate no more than 500 kilo volt ampere, or kva, at once—the equivalent to 400 kilowatts.

The operators would be re­quired to pay 500 riel per kva. For example, if a businessman managed an operation that can produce 350 kva, his annual license fee would be 175,000 riel ($46). The maximum license fee would be no more than 250,000 riel ($66) annually.

Twenty-three small power distributors in the provinces are registered with the ministry, but Tun Lean said none have been re­quired to pay license fees yet.

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